By Mary Taruvinga
A HARARE man has appeared in court over a Twitter post seen as insulting Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) boss, Justice Priscilla Chigumba.
Night Tawona Shadaya, 25, was arrested on allegations of creating a fake Chigumba Twitter account and then posting the offending remarks.
He was hauled before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa Wednesday facing criminal insult charges.
The socialite however, distanced himself from the Twitter account, saying he only retweeted the post from it after mistakenly assuming it was genuine.
“My defence is that it was simply a mistake and I issued an apology even on Star FM,” Shadaya told court Wednesday.
“I was tipsy, and I simply retweeted the post. After I realised the mistake I undid the post. I undid the post the following morning when I regained my sober senses.
He added; “I don’t know who owns that account or its origin and all I can ask for is mercy.
“What I did was not intentional; even when I heard about the charges I am facing, I apologised on all social media platforms and even warned others against making the same mistake.”
Shadaya is alleged to set up the bogus Chigumba account and then tweeted that, “I can’t wait for the election fiasco to come to an end.
“I could do with a holiday and some good sex. My body needs a break.”
The post was made soon after the hotly disputed July 30 elections.
Chigumba has been under-fire from the opposition over the ballot with post-election violence resulting in the death of six people while several others were injured.
The ZEC chairperson, who is the complainant in this case, immediately disowned the Twitter account saying it was only meant to bring her name into disrepute.
Prosecuting, Francesca Mukumbiri said the suspect was pleading guilty to the charges.
In mitigation, Shadaya told court that he owns nothing of value and is unemployed.
He admitted that his retweet tarnished Chigumba’s dignity and asked for forgiveness.
After being asked what alcohol he had taken, he said he only took three Black Label quarts.
He is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.